Thursday, May 31, 2012

Charlaine Harris

Earlier this month, I wrote about hubs and I going to Charlotte, NC to see one of my all time favorite authors, Charlaine Harris. She was on tour for her new book, Deadlocked. It is book twelve in her Southern Vampire Series, aka The Sookie Stackhouse series. I have mixed feelings about this book and its release. I am super thrilled to have this book in my possession (all the better that it's signed and personalized to us) but I am super duper sad to know there is only one more Sookie book to left to come out (due May 2013).

If you are not familiar with Charliane Harris let me give you a little background. By far, I'd say her most popular series is her Sookie books, which is the inspiration for HBO's show True Blood. The first book is called Dead Until Dark. You meet Sookie, a telepathic waitress. I first picked up this series after I read Twilight and was looking for something to fill that vampire void in my life! Sookie is an adult and Southern so it is totally not the same as Twilight but a great series in its own right.

After reading Sookie over the past couple of year and waiting (impatiently) for the next ones to come out, I found Ms. Harris has written several other books including the Harper Connelly series, the Lily Bard series, The Aurora Teagarden series, a couple stand alone mysteries and several short stories. I've read them all (except maybe a couple of the shorts) and they are all wonderful! I certainly recommend anything she's written. The Lily and Aurora series are straight mystery novels, no supernatural stuff going on. Ms. Harris also mentioned at the event that her Harper series has been picked up by SciFy to be turned into a show! (I read it will be called Grave Sight-which is also the title to the first book in that series. YaY!!!)

Here's my (short) review for Deadlocked:

**Possible Spoilers**

Oh Sookie! I'm very intrigued how the series will end after reading Deadlocked. There were a few surprises in this book. It did take care of clearing out some secondary characters. I think a good way to sum up what was going on in Deadlocked, is like Sookie said at one point, all her supernatural paths had crossed. Team Sam all the way, baby!!

I hope you guys have a great Friday and weekend if I don't get to talk at ya again! What are you guys up to this weekend? Anybody reading anything good? Who are your fav authors?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mani Monday

Hey y'all! So I'm trying out the blogger app for the first time today! And I'm posting from my new phone (thanks hubs)! It's been a while since I posted a manicure. Today, I'm rocking both accent nails and polka dots! Yay!

First, I started with a clear, strengthening base coat. Then painted all my nails with two coats of Sparitual Lucid Creme nail polish. Except for my index fingers, they got three coats of Maybelline Express Finish nail color in Sunshine.

I let that all dry a bit, then added dots of yellow onto the Lucid Creme onto the Sunshine and Sunshine onto the Lucid Creme. I achieved this design by using my "dotting tool" which you can purchase or make. I made mine by sticking a straight pin with a ball like pin head on the top into an old fashion pencil. (I'll try get a good pic of it later.)

Next, I let that dry a bit. And lastly I applied a layer of Seche Vite top coat. If you haven't tried this stuff...oh my gosh, I'm telling it's good! It dries super fast and let you know about its lasting power.

Also, I had a slight change in my reading selection. I'm reading High Five by Janet Evanovich. Hubs and I are working our way through the Stephanie Plum series. There's like 18 of them and we are utilizing the library as often as possible. So, I gotta read as they come. It's a good series-quick and funny read, perfect summer series.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Friday!

Hey y'all! I've been feeling a little under the weather this week. I'm hoping that I'll be 100% for the WEEKEND!! To psych myself up for this I'm going to post some pretty pictures...yay!! These were some random shots taken during the "greatest day ever," and edited by yours truly using Photobucket. I don't proclaim to be a photographer but I do like pretty things and I try to capture them on film when possible. (Do we even still use this phrase "on film" since everything is all digital now?? And usually it's not me taking the pic, it's me telling hubs take pic of X. Although, I do believe I managed to take all of today's selection.) As you look at these I hope they bring you as much pleasure as they bring me. I encourage you, take moments in your busiest days to enjoy all the BEAUTY around you!  Anyways, enjoy these photos and quotations. Oh, and of course, have a FABULOUS weekend!

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." ~Ashley Smith

Angel of the Garden

"See the BEAUTY in the little things."


"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."
Albert Einstein

Courthouse in Covington

"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lily Pads and Water Lily

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."

Lion and Petunias

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." 
~Franz Kafka

What plans do you guys have the the weekend? Anything fun going on? What are you reading? I'm about half way in Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris. Next up, I'm reading Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout. I love comments, so leave me some! :-)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Best Day EVER

Here is the Alli's World True Life Story of the BEST DAY EVER. This is more for me. I want a way to remember that day forever. No, the day wasn't perfect but it was pretty wonderful and I choose to remember the good times. As I mentioned before hubs and I celebrated our two year anniversary on May 1st. His gift to me was concert tickets for The All-American Rejects (a band I loved back in my college days) on May 8th. We both took off the whole day from work.

Proof of the Best Day Ever: All American Rejects signed CD, armbands, tickets; Map of Covington and Vampire Diaries filming locations, Avengers movie stubs, and brochure mentioning Blue Willow.

Our day started by sleeping in a a little and hanging out together at home. Then we went with the Seniors from Pleasant Grove to the Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle for a totally delish lunch of all things fried in Southern goodness. Not to mention a good time with some good people and the beautiful grounds at the restaurant. (See pics)

After lunch we departed the group and took off on our own. We had the concert tickets for the show in Atlanta so we started making our way down I-20. Clayton noticed we were about to pass the exit for Covington (aka Mystic Falls). We had been talking about making a day trip there because it is where one of my favorite shows,The Vampire Diaries, is filmed. So we pulled off the interstate and spent about two hours wondering around Mystic Falls! After we hit the highlands we got back on road again.

Me holding a prop from TVD set.

Outside the Mystic Grill, which in real life is a lawyer's office or something and I saw where this building had a fire a couple days after we were there. :(

The Gilbert house, where main character Elena lives.

We still had a couple of hours to kill and we soon were coming up on Stonecrest Mall, so again we pulled off the road. This time in the pouring rain and went to see Avengers, the new super hero movie we had both been wanting to see desperately. If you have not seen this movie, GO NOW! It was sooo good. As a geek, I was so super proud of the director Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame). Anyways--GREAT MOVIE.

Finally, at this point it was about time to get to the concert venue so off we go once more. We get there in plenty of time and check out the merchandise table. The band was offering a free signing with purchase of their new CD. Due to my powers of persuasion and a really awesome merch guy, we ended up with 2 copies of the CD for the price of one! The show ah-mazing! The opening band, Rocket to the Moon did a great job. Finally the Rejects played and I was able to recapture some of my youth! Once the show was over we hung around, got our CD jackets signed, and got to chat with the band. They actually remembered playing a show in Athens (forever ago) that I was at. The guitar player even remembered the name of the venue (40 Watt) and I totally admitted to said guitar player that I had harbored the biggest crush on him since that night! Such good times!

Also, I finished my book Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout which I really enjoyed.Teen aged angst and forbidden love... le sigh. My kinda book!  (By the way Ms. Armentrout will be in  at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA on June 8th at 3 pm for a book signing! Anybody up for a road trip w/ me??)  I've now started and finished reading Four to Score by Janet Evanovich (funny series). I'm still listening to Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris on audio book in my car.  Once I finish it, I'm going to read Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (Sookie 12, only one more Sookie book left to come out in May 2013...sadness).

What are you guys up to? What are you reading? What's on your to be read list? What's your idea of the "greatest day ever"?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Musings

Hello good people of Alli's World! This post will probably be on the short side. I'm pretty busy out living life and gathering up experiences to blog about on a rainy day. Hubs and I celebrated our two year anniversary on May 1. Since we have both gone through really crappy marriages and subsequent divorces before we got together, we kind of make a big our anniversaries. (Funny how that works, sometimes it takes knowing just how much you can lose to appreciate what you have.) Anyhow we are kinda just taking every opportunity this month we can to just be together, doing things together we enjoy.

Clayton (aka Hubs, aka Clayfus) and Me

This past weekend we did a little impromptu road trip. We got up super early Saturday morning and went with my mom, sister and nephew to Columbia, SC to see said nephew's first Martial Arts competition (which he WON!) Of course it stressed me out to watch it--I wanted him to win, but not get hurt, and not hurt the other kid too bad!
Mama and Sister

Blurry but action shot. Waylon (nephew) is in black shirt.

Waylon the Winner

Then hubs and I continued up the road to Charlotte, NC and spent the night and the next day we saw one of my all time favorite authors, Charlaine Harris!! And we got a copy of her brand new book, Deadlocked, signed and personalized! (I'll do a whole post on that once I've read the book, promise!)

Me with my newly signed copy of Deadlocked

But one of the coolest thing I think hubs and I shared this past weeked was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I checked out the audio version from library and we listened to the book in its entirtity during our journey. This is not too unusal for us, we both like to keep an audio book going for our respective commutes to our places of employment. But it was probably the first book we listened to whole book start to finish together like that. I thought it was quite the bonding experience. Not only that but the book is so flipping good, I wish I could explain to you how much I really loved it. (Like 5 star love!)

The Fault in Our Stars is so beautifully written, I was completely captivated and hated when we had to stop for gas or food or the night! The story is mostly about a girl named Hazel and a boy named Gus and they are cancer kids. The book had parts that had hubs and I giggling like crazy. Parts that made me feel the incredible love the characters shared and therefore made me think of and be thankful of the man riding beside me, and parts that had me sobbing while trying drive down I-85. TFiOS is extremely thought provoking and had me thinking about how we would handle being sick or God forbid we had a sick child and how I treat "sick" people. It was such a powerful book I woke up this morning thinking about Hazel and Gus. I'm going to "read" this book again (well actually read it oppose to listen to it).  If I have more thoughts I'll be sure to share them with you.

Y'all know I love me some quotes and TFiOS was just full of quotable quotations but I'll just leave you with one. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” More adventures planned for tomorrow, later peeps! ( turned out to be a bit longer than I thought... :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince

Let me preface this review with a few comments about my own idiosyncrasies. I love reading series because I tend to think fictional characters become my friends and I never want my friends to go away. So series are really good for me. Plus, it is a built in answer to , "what to read next?" When I read series, I tend to look at each book as a chapter in one BIG book While I understand they are individual books, they are still part of a bigger story with the same characters. And therefore, they tend to run together and it becomes difficult for me to think of them individually. I'm not sure how other people think of it but this is Alli's World.
"The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate;
their flaw is that they cannot improve. Man's
flaw is that he can deteriorate; and his virtue is
that he can improve."
-Hasidic saying
from Clockwork Prince Chapter 10


This is review a 2 for 1 deal on Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, which are actually part of a series called The Infernal Devices, by author Cassandra Clare. (There is one more due to come out in this series, Clockwork Princess out in 2013). Let me say that while this is a "historical fiction" series it also has some Steampunk elements (cogs, automations, inventions). The books are not written in the old vernacular, it's not like trying to read Jane Austin or anything. This is a story set in Clare's Shawdowhunter world. Shawdowhunters are fallen angel type warriors that project the world against demons. There are also witches, vampires, and assorted "Downworld" creatures. In this series the main characters are Tessa Gray (who is some kind of shape shifting being, Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs(Shadowhunters).
Tessa Gray

I don't know what was wrong with me while reading the first one, Clockwork Angel. I just couldn't into it for a while. I think my main problem was I am harboring a literary crush on Jace from Clare's first series, The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls (just came out!) and City of Heavenly Fire (2014). There just didn't seem to be any room in my heart for Will or Jem but my, my how that has changed now. By the end of Clockwork Angel I was excited to see what would happen in the next book. There was a couple of lines from the book I really liked that I wanted to share.

"There are worse things than that. It's all right to love someone who doesn't love you back, as long as they're worth you loving them. As long as the deserve it."

"Beauty fades, but cooking is eternal." (This line spoke to my soul! haha)
In the second book, Clockwork Prince, you found out more about the characters, especially Will and Jem. And now I reallllly heart both characters! I've just feel like I got to know and understand them so much more in this book and therefore they both become much more lovable. There is this hot love triangle thing going on in the book that spoke to the romantic in me. (This is a YA series. But sometimes less can be more, if ya know what I mean). Although, it has the elements to become tragic. (Do you know how much I love drama?!? As long as it's not in my life!) In addition to love, there is mystery, betrayal, triumph and a final surprise to keep you coming back for the last installment. Overall, a very enjoyable read and I recommend it. And here are a couple more quotes that stood out to me from Clockwork Prince,
"I feel myself diminished, parts of me spiraling away into darkness, that which is good and honest and true-- If you hold it away from yourself long enough, do you lose it entirely? If no on cares for you at all, do you really exist?"
"Her aunt leaned forward to kiss her on the forehead. 'You have more family than you think.'"
Lastly, I'll leave you with a photo of my hubs and me with Cassandra Clare at her book signing back in December 2011 in Decatur, Georgia. The event was sponsored by The Little Shop of Stories, a great local children's bookstore. They often host author events. And they are super nice and knowledgeable.


I am currently reading Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (and really digging it!) and listening to Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris in the car (to prepare myself for the new Sookie book that just came out!).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Interview With an Author: Karen Colley

Have I got a treat for you guys!! (Note: read this whole post! J ) Yesterday, was an good day. I had lunch with my mom and sister, had frozen yogurt with mom and my good friend and then went strawberry pickin’ with my mom. But this post isn’t just about me having a super fun day. There is a bigger point to this post. While enjoying our fro-yo, I interviewed said friend, author Karen Colley. Her debut Christian fiction novel Cord of Three came out about a year ago. Since I started a blog and recently confessed my undying love for all things literary in my last post I thought, I should take advantage of such a great wealth of knowledge.

First, let me tell you about my friend Karen. She was a police officer for 14 years and now works in dispatch. She has two adult daughters and two grandchildren. She has lived in Athens, Georgia her whole life. She has been my friend for a couple years now and has offered me sound, Godly advice on more than on occasion. I’m super proud of her for getting this book out and I had the extreme pleasure of helping her edit it before it came out. (I’m an awful speller but I’m really good at catching errors in continuity and making sure a story flows.) Here's our discussion:

Allison: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Karen: Ever since I could write, I’ve always tried to write little stories. I’ve always loved to read and always have had a good imagination. I’ve always written something: poems, or short story, in a diary or journal.


Allison: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Karen: It just comes to me. Sometimes, I can just be sitting in a room listening to conversations and an idea comes to me. Sometimes from my own past experiences. I try to write in a positive way that can teach someone something good.


Allison: Can you give us a summary of Cord of Three? What is the message of the book?

Karen: Cord of Three is about three friends in their mid-life stage. It’s about a time when a woman would say “what now?” The kids are grown. They are waiting for things to happen, that they have been waiting on and believing in God that will happen for a long time. Things start falling together and falling apart. [The message is] Not to give up on Faith in God is number one. Never give up on God and hopes and dreams. And cling tight to the people you love the most. Enjoy the relationships and grow in the relationships with your friends and be there for one another.

Allison: Is there a particular scene from Cord of Three that stands out to your?

Karen: Sophie goes to Abbey’s house and she’s had a bad day, nothing is working right. She’s having a pity party and Abbey just went off on her. And has to set her in line. That particular scene really happened in my life. When you have a friend that will not allow you to sit in your self pity, that is what friendship is about.



Allison: What does Cord of Three mean to you?

Karen: Cord of Three means a lot to me because its one time in my life that I accomplished something that I have always wanted to accomplish.


Allison: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Karen: The job has just begun after its been published. Writing is the easy part. They take your baby, something you've created and shred it to pieces. Its hard because you have edit. There are all these decisions to be made. It is very overwhelming. You wonder how it will ever fall into place.

Allison: Can you tell us about the process of writing a book?

Karen: I just write what comes to me. Then I go back and edit. I don’t look at it till its almost done. Then have someone else read it, listen to their suggestions and then I make the final decision.

Allison: Do you ever experience writers block? How do you deal with it?

Karen: So many times. I lay it down. Walk away and comeback.


Allison: What do you think makes a good story?

Karen: The message in a story. The reality of the story. We use books as an escape but also, there has to be a bit of reality in there. So we can say this is possible. From the Christian aspect, where if God can do it for this person He can do it for me. Trying to convey a message of hope through the writing.


Allison: Who is your favorite author and book?

Karen: I have two. First, Jude Deveraux, A Knight in Shining Armor--way back when I was younger, it was a feel good book I liked to read over and over, a soppy romance story to read over and over. And the next, is a small, unknown book... God on a Harley [by Joan Brady]--gives you hope, the name is a little off kilter and teaches you to let go of things in order to pick up the good stuff and grow in who you are.


Allison: Do you have any advice to aspiring authors?

Karen: Don’t give up. Write, write, and write some more. As Stephen King said, if you have to wallpaper with rejection letters…


Allison: Is there anything you’d like to share with readers and fans?

Karen: Yeah, everybody has a purpose in this life. You can do it. NO matter what it looks like, what people say, how you feel. With God all things are possible.


Allison: How can readers get in touch with your and/or get your books?

Karen: They can order copies from Tate Publishing on line. ( Feel free to email me at


So, if this wonderful interview isn’t enough…how would you like to have your very own copy of Cord of Three signed by author Karen Colley?? Just become a follower of my blog and then leave a comment under this post. I only have one copy to give away, the winner will be selected randomly, and at this time I am only able to send to a US address. Contest ends May 8th at midnight. (Hopefully, that means I can get the book in the mail and you could even have your copy before Mother’s Day, which is May 13th in case you didn’t know!)Thanks for reading y’all!

*I bought the copy myself. Book retails for $20.99